HOLDING PERIOD: AUGUST 31ST - SEPTEMBER 4TH, JENNETTE'S PIER, NAGS HEAD, NC
WRV and top rated surfers from around the globe gathered labor day weekend for a WSL Mens qualifying series event on the unique coastline of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The WRV pop-up shop was on site as well as food trucks from local favorites. The event Kick-off party and after parties will featured live music and FREE give-aways. The PACIFICO was flowing and the WRV Model team was on site for all events.
- Killian Garland Wins Men's QS1000 Presented By Pacifico At Jennette's Pier
Written by Andrew Nichols
After two years of East Coast champions — Michael Dunphy in 2014 and Asher Nolan in 2015 — the WRV Outer Banks Pro presented by Pacifico Men’s QS1000 title has been lost to the west. Ventura, CA's, Killian Garland came out on top of an impressive field last weekend, taking out defending champ Nolan in the quarterfinals. The East Coast presence was felt on the final day of competition, though, after a whirlwind event came to a close with the ever-looming Hurricane Hermine making her way up the coast. Nolan, former CT competitor Gabe Kling, and rising Tar Heel talent Knox Harris all found their place in the Quarterfinals, though that would be the end of their respective roads.
In a rematch of last year’s semifinal, Killian Garland was able to one-up Jacksonville Beach, FL, native Asher Nolan in a close bout that leaned in the favor of a to-be champion. Though Nolan still don a competitive jersey at the QS level, his attention is more focused on the prep work for the next generation of surfers as Hurley's East Coast Team Manager. “I’m enjoying the chance to try and mentor up-and-coming kids,” Nolan said. “Especially East Coast kids — I want them to do well in those events and always support them. I want to see them make it the highest level possible. It’s been a long time since we’ve had someone make it close with [Michael] Dunphy and Evan [Geiselman] right there recently, so it’s exciting to see this next group come up.”
"I want [up-and-coming east coast kids] to do well in those events and always support them. I want to see them make it the highest level possible." -Asher Nolan
By helping mentor the young competitors, Nolan’s own strategy has become stronger — though the three-time WRV Outer Banks Pro champ knows it’s taking a lot more to get through heats now. “When you looked at the heat draw, there was a bunch of up-and-comers — and they need points,” Asher said. “It was a really competitive event and guys were wanting it really bad. They’re getting competitive at a young age, but they have to put in the time to understand what the ocean is doing and get a strategy in place.”
Fellow East Coaster and legend in his own right, Gabe Kling made his appearance at this year’s event, earning a Quarterfinal berth to face eventual finalist Jordan Lawler. Kling’s experience at the highest level of competitive surfing has garnered him many friends and memories to last for years to come, which keeps him coming back for more. The father of two and St. Augustine, FL, real estate extraordinaire posted some of the top numbers at Jennette’s Pier, but that was the least of his concerns. “I haven’t really done a contest in a long time so I enjoyed seeing everyone,” Kling said. “There were enough waves to go on even though it was pretty grovely. It’s just always fun to make some heats so I’m stoked on that. I would’ve been stoked to try and win the thing. I’ll always have that fire in me, but I wasn’t looking for any seeding or points. For me, it’s just great to see old friends and see the groms that you’ve seen years ago and now they’re men. The level of surfing has gone up a lot and that’s always great to see. Nowadays it’s all about the experience here and just surfing with a bunch of good people.”
Knox Harris proved he is still a rising threat at a young age and still has plenty of growth within the sport to begin chasing down QS titles. With a lot of experience around him to draw from such as the likes of Nolan and Kling, the 21-year-old is in good company. “That was so sick,” Knox said after the contest. “I’ve never been in a two-man heat on the QS yet in my career, [so that's] a huge confidence booster moving forward. I made some priority mistakes, but I’ll learn from those and hopefully get into Costa Rica next month. Seeing some of the big East Coast guys here was great and watching Evan [Geiselman] representing us so well is insane. I’ve looked up to them so much and tried to take certain things from them into my routine. Hopefully even the next generation coming up will continue to build on that — I’d be stoked to see more East Coasters going for it.”
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Vibe Check!! Scaffolding is holding for tomorrow’s Catch Surf Wheel of Shred: Death Match. Weather dependent we hope to to have check in start around noon. Afternoon is looking like a go! Live stream should be running on OuterBanksLive.com as well.
The WSL QS1000 has finished up with Killian taking the win!!
The 2016 WRV OBX Pro presented by Pacifico is a wrap. Congratulations to Kilian Garland on his maiden WSL victory, and to Jordan Lawler for finishing runner up.
In sloppy 1-3’ surf we ran the Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals.
Groomed peaks and live heats!